speaker tags

anonymous asked:

*tapdances* Duke, do you have any advice about using "X said" and "Y says"? I know that using it too much is supposed to be bad, but putting a lot of alternatives instead starts to get gimmicky and irritating. As a reader, I only tend to notice it if the scene is basically dialogue with just "stuff," said character X. "more stuff," said character Y, and only when it's realy dull dialogue. Should I just put more sentences in between the bits of dialogue, or is there a more elegant option?

*Curtsies* So here’s the thing about speaker tags: they’re a necessary evil, and as much as creative writing teachers bitch and moan about them, you can’t avoid using them and most readers are so used to them that they’re essentially invisible. I just wrote a book that has literally seven main characters, often all in the same room at the same time. There is no way I could dispense with speaker tags. (I just did a Ctrl+F and I use the word “said” over 900 times.) I did come up with some creative solutions to the “he said/she said” problem but they only worked because of the topic and format of the book and aren’t a catchall solution so I’m not going to get into that. I did, however, in working with my agent and editor, come up with a loose set of rules for how to make speaker tags as effective and simultaneously inoffensive as possible:

  1. Only use them when you really need them. If you’ve got less than about four people in a scene and it’s clear from context who’s speaking, you don’t need a speaker tag at all. Leave it out. 
  2. Resist the urge to try to make them interesting. Do not insert adverbs or go through a thesaurus for synonyms for “said” because I guarantee seeing “he snarled” “she hissed” “he spat” is a thousand times more annoying/conspicuous than just seeing “said” three times in a row. However, this comes with a caveat: writing teachers will tell you that “said” is the only word you should ever use for a speaker tag, and that’s bullshit. Saying something is not the same as shouting it or whispering it. If the way something is said is important, you are allowed to indicate that. Just don’t go overboard.
  3. Don’t fight it. Sometimes, you have to use a lot of speaker tags. That’s just how writing works, and shoehorning unnecessary lines of narration in between to break it up is not the answer. It’s not worth stressing about. Use the speaker tags when you need them, don’t change the way you’re writing to try to hide them, and definitely don’t worry about it when you’re still in the middle of the creative process. Whether you’re overusing speaker tags is one of the last things you should worry about. 

So, that’s my two cents. You can’t live without them, so best just make peace. Clarity is almost always better than trying to be unnecessarily clever. Lastly: this is a very, very minor thing. Don’t stress about it.

Man, so That Kid in my office today asked a great question at a Master’s defense, and I’m always trying to be on the lookout for opportunities to have a halfway decent conversation with him, so I told him it was a great question! And he goes, “Oh, I know, but I thought the speaker did a terrible job answering it.” And I’m thinking like, hey asshole, that speaker is one of your closest friends and colleagues, you have worked in the same room for two years and frequently hang out outside of work, and here you’re badmouthing him to a more senior researcher in your field. What the hell? Buddy, don’t you go throwing that speaker under the bus to try and impress me with how smart you are. I like him way, way, way better than you.

Entertaining some lovely recurring daydreams of being in a position to recommend against hiring this guy somewhere in the nebulous future, but realistically? If “pointlessly arrogant and competitive white dude with no sense of tact” were an impediment to career advancement in this field, we’d be downsized by 75%.

Anyway, the speaker passed his defense and we’re throwing him a party tonight, so I am gonna make and bring some good good good Nanaimo bars for him and ignore the heck out of That Kid.


Hello! You can just watch the video if you’d like too. I watched this video one year ago to be exact and I thought it was nice that it came up for me today. It made me smile this morning so I’m posting it here.


I was going through a really rough time, and I didn’t know what was going to be of me. I had some support but I didn’t know if my relationship would survive it, my relationship with my family, many friendships, and sometimes even I. My heart hurt, I wanted to hold on to everything. I didn’t want change in my life because I loved the people around me and I would go through whatever to be with them and for them not to see me differently but I’ve always been like this. I just want to write and make people feel a sense of purpose and happiness because that’s the only reason I write, oh and also so I don’t go insane. Too many feelings. Expressing it feels good. Where I love is in my art, and where I hurt goes all on paper. I’m a Leo, and a people pleaser, it’s stressful but I can’t help it. I wanted to leave my whole life. Don’t talk to people who make you feel bad, or insecure as often or communicate with them, tell them your dreams and that you’re going to chase them. If they give you crap it’s because they know how the world works and they’re thinking about money but once you’re doing what you like you’ll be satisfied with what you get. Following a dream. Falling in love. It takes heart. Fire, and motivation! Why give life and not care to it? Listen to it? I’ve listened to people all my life, it’s very joyful. They have a lot of story and a lot to say when asked. I think people flourish more doing things they enjoy. I am sharing this because it reminded me of purpose, I was so anxious and scared but I believed in myself, more or less, I think I kinda went crazy for a while and I had been through worse but detaching yourself from people who are toxic, even if you love them, is a good thing. I love so many people endlessly who don’t want me to be happy, not pointing fingers at anyone but if I say I got it with my life why tell me any different? I’m not very rebellious either, I drink and throw up and sleep. I rebelled a little between 14-17. I was upset. The whole world is telling me nothing is real. If you spend time around people who care nothing for your interests and dreams your heart is bound to hurt. As soon as I turned 18, which was my only goal I went and just did what I like. Work on what you love right now and make amends towards it. When I’m sad I forget the things I’d like to accomplish and do. I forget that I think my pictures are crap and my writing is terrible, but to get better at something you have to do it and read, practice and my heart has only thanked me for it lately. It’s not right, so think of that dream and accomplish it. Love whomever you need to love, speak up. Time is essence. I’m much happier knowing I’m doing what I like. I had a teacher once who was a psychology teacher. He played in a band because he loved it and worked as a psych teacher and he loved talking about it. He always said I spent my whole life doing what I love and I found my amazing wife. It’s an adventure till you meet the next. I had also an English teacher, Mr. G who became a teacher even though the world, his parents all told him to be a lawyer. Happiness soothes the mind. Everyone should be a teacher of life. I want to tell people it’s okay. Anyone can be whomever they want to be. Be safe. Go to school if you want to? Invest in your art? Get a job? You’ll get hurt, but you’ll realize and learn a lot. People will tell you to put that art away. Give up on that boyfriend of yours. They don’t want to see anyone happy. My psychology teacher, he talked about his wife as if she put the stars in the sky. I observed that from him. The heart is happy when it follows what it dreams, and not following those makes the heart sad. If you have something deep in you that you can’t resolve or put into the universe or chase it, you’re going to regret it or think about it for a while and it’ll make you upset. I even stay away from family who kills my happiness if I need to, it’s not selfish. Your only purpose on this life is to live. Wanna fall in love? Wait. Do it. Crushes are ok, short lived loves are okay. Experience different loves, learn and be patient. Wanna travel? Sh*t, get a job for a few months, rent a room in someone’s house then take off, save your money like a child who wants a toy. Go to college if you want to! Are you gay? Straight? Bi? Trans? No gender? Sexually active? Yes? No? Good, who cares. Embrace it if it’s you. Just do what you like to do. It’s simple. They accept it or you go and do it anyway and if it hurts then it’s working. There are obstacles to tackle in life. People to talk to, communicate feelings to. Easier said than done? 5 seconds. Believe in yourself more. Say what you need to say. They don’t like it? Be unapologetic. Don’t stop chasing those dreams.

This is by Prince Ea, I found it on Facebook and it came back to me today to tell me I found it and to keep doing things that make me happy. Stop settling for life. Make life. I want to share important things, I wanna listen to you. I’m at a good place right now and trust me it’s been bad.

Cold, cold, it was so cold. The feeling didn’t leave her skin yet, even though she had washed several times. Her hands were still shaking. The marks of the bloodstains wasn’t on her clothes anymore, she was miles and miles away from that place.

“Why do I care so much?” she thought, alone on her bed. The blankets didn’t seem to warm her body. It was just one person… the first one. She killed him. Higuchi didn’t even know his name, and she never would.

“It’s okay, Higuchi. You knew it since you first joined the Port Mafia. You can’t stay at the Mafia without killing. The guy was an enemy. He was a traitor. You don’t need to feel guilty. You knew it would happen eventually. I knew it…”

Her wheezing breath was the only thing she could hear at her bedroom. The silent and calm dawn was incompatible with her sleepless and anxious brain, which seemed to be taking her down every single second. To be remembering those scenes all the time. The sounds, the screams, her finger on the trigger, her gun against his head. The blood on her clothing and skin… and then a warmth feeling touched her face. She was crying. The girl was trying to not shed any tears, the one who died didn’t deserve her tears. Never. Feeling the weakest of all, Higuchi allowed herself to cry a little. Maybe all this wasn’t for her. Or… maybe she could improve herself to become better and better at her job. She suddenly sat up in her bed, determined.

"That’s it. I will train more, I will try harder. I’m going to get used to this sort of thing. I just need time. It’s my job. I can do it. Can’t I?”

She let her body fall on the bed again. Wiped away the few tears with the blanket. Trying to calm down, she closed her eyes while playing with a lock of her short blond hair, the images still clear in her mind. Her heart was still beating fast. Higuchi suddenly realized how difficult it could be. Would require a lot of time and effort. She would have to be strong, she would be strong. But she still had no help. She was always on her own, needing to work and take care of her sister. Feeling more alone than ever, she felt another tear trickle down. Was she allowed to cry? It had been her choice, right? Shrinking in bed, she sighed.

“Why it must be so hard?”

anonymous asked:

Dear Duke, I have noticed something about my writing: I do not know how to conduct a dialogue. I do not know how to add an emotional "burden" to the discussion. It does not sound believable what I write. To me, it seems more like a lecture than a simple conversation. I just wanted to write engaging more with the emotional side of my characters than with the intellectual. How can I do it?

Hi! You’re in the right place because dialogue is actually my favorite thing to write and any book of mine you pick up will probably be like at least 40% people talking. Idk if this is because I did so much theatre or because I just can’t shut up, but it’s high time I did a real post about it, so:

Advice for Aspiring Authors: On Dialogue

  1. You need it so don’t resist it. Books that are just huge chunks of prose are exhausting, and if you never use dialogue you’re either (1) summarizing or (2) writing a really boring book, and either way the the result is the same. Your reader is going to be bored. Choosing the right scenic mode is important and sooner or later people are going to have to speak in the moment. 
  2. Don’t stress about speaker tags. Putting this at the top because a lot of new writers seem to get hung up on it. But I’ve already addressed this, so read this post here. Pro-tip? If you’re writing a conversation between two people or even three, you often don’t need speaker tags at all. I recently wrote a conversation that takes place over the phone which consists of about 25 lines exchanged and didn’t use a single speaker tag because it was, in all instances, obvious who was doing the talking. Later in the same MS I have a really chaotic hospital scene where like twelve people are yelling at the same time and interrupting each other and there are no speaker tags because idgaf if anybody knows who’s saying what. It should feel like chaos. (If you want a really great example of this, pick up a copy of William Faulkner’s Sanctuary and read the funeral scene.) Readers are smart. They’ll figure it out.
  3. Different people speak in different ways. Who a character is will often determine how they speak. For instance, Theodore von Wammelspout, Crown Prince of Prosenstatz, is probably going to have a very different dialect than Paw Paw O’Halloran, Louisiana shrimp fisherman. (If you want a better example of what I’m talking about, watch the movie Kingsman and pay attention to how and when Eggsy switches dialects, or read the prologue to The Taming of the Shrew and pay attention to the immediate tonal shift in Christopher Sly’s dialogue when he wakes up from a drunken stupor thinking he’s a lord.) Think about a character’s origins and upbringing and backstory when deciding how they talk.
  4. But stay away from writing dialect unless you really know what you’re doing. Don’t try to phonetically write a character’s accent or dialect unless you’re a linguist, because a lot of dropped consonants and deliberate misspellings can be really difficult to read, come out like you’re trying too hard, or even end up looking vaguely racist. If a character has an accent, find a way to tell us they have an accent and then spell all their dialogue correctly. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule–i.e, if a phonic misunderstanding is crucial to the story. But basically, unless you’re writing Trainspotting, don’t do this. What’s much better and much more effective is to describe how a character says something or what their voice sounds like. What’s the texture? The color? The temperature? A warm, rough, slow voice belongs to a different character than a cold, high, slick voice does. Or maybe the same character can switch from one to the other. Give your character’s voice the same attention you would give their body or their habits or anything else.
  5. It’s a character speaking, not the narrator. Each character should have their own voice, in the same way that each story will have a slightly different narrator, even if it’s a neutral third person narrator. Writing is all about voice and style, and part of the challenge is that you as the writer have to be a mockingbird and be able to speak in as many different voices as you have characters. It will take practice. It will require a lot of questions asked, such as “Who never says a bad word? Who swears like a sailor? Who talks in a constant, uninterrupted stream and who hardly says a word?” For an exercise, write out a plain uninteresting sentence like, “He was on his way home from the store when he got a flat tire,” the way the narrator would say it, and then rewrite it in every character’s voice. Because one character might say it just like that–”I was on my way home from the store and I got a flat tire”–and another might say, “You’re not going to fucking believe this. Okay, so I’m on my way home from the store, because we’re out of beer again, because Steve was supposed to go get more and he didn’t, the dickhead–and what happens? Well, obviously, because this worthless excuse of a city can’t be bothered to keep the roads clear, I drive right through a patch of broken glass and BANG! Blow a tire. Swear to God, I thought it was a gunshot, I nearly ran my car into a telephone pole.” If all your characters sound alike or sound like the narrator or (worse) sound like you, it’s time to stop and reevaluate. 
  6. Characters don’t speak for you. Look, unless you’re writing a really boring story it’s going to have a bunch of people in it with a bunch of different ideas and some of them should believe things that you don’t agree with or speak in a way you find objectionable. Characters are sometimes going to have to say things you find morally deplorable and they have to say them with conviction. I recently wrote a scene where my FMC’s boyfriend and her dad argue about what they’re going to do about her, like she’s not a grown-ass woman who can take care of herself. And they both say things that are utterly atrocious and that if I heard a man say in real life, I would probably punch him in the face. But that’s important. In fiction, you gotta tell it all and tell it like it is. Fiction isn’t true but it should be honest. Not every character can agree with you or with each other. (This is a big part of the reason that authorial intent is a flawed concept. An author who depicts something isn’t necessarily condoning or endorsing it.) You should be writing about difficult shit and writing about it from every vantage point and using dialogue to do that. You don’t need to agree with angelic equality crusader Nancy and homophobic Uncle Jeff equally but they need to be equally convincing. Write disagreements. Write arguments. Let characters fight and get pissed and tell each other to fuck off. It’s honest, and it’s interesting. Conflict is good.
  7. Incomplete sentences are your best friend. So are run-ons. That scene I mentioned that was 25 lines with no speaker tags? There’s also not a complete sentence in that whole exchange. We rarely speak in full correct sentences, even if we know perfectly well that what we’re saying isn’t grammatically perfect. So something like this: 
            “Seen my keys?”
            “In the basket.”
    Totally acceptable. People are lazy. They talk in fragments. Dialogue doesn’t have to be correct, because it often isn’t. Stick commas and dashes wherever the fuck you want to mimic the pattern of speech. Worry about what’s natural, not what’s correct. Sometimes what goes unsaid is just as interesting as what does get said. For instance, if Joe turns to Carol and starts to say, “Have you ever thought about–” and then never finishes the sentence, that’s going to keep a reader wondering. Has she ever thought about what? In much the same way, you can have a character ramble for an entire paragraph in an epic run-on sentence if that’s the way they talk, or if they’re distressed or upset and trying to get the words out. The last book I finished has a chapter at the end where one character literally talks without interruption for nine pages. And as insane as that sounds it’s actually totally necessary because she’s telling a story that’s important for the readers and the other characters to hear but it’s a hundred times better to hear it in her own voice, grammatical correctness be damned.
  8. Don’t try too hard to be eloquent. How many people do you know in real life who spout off perfectly articulate declarations of their feelings? Probably none. They ramble and stall and repeat themselves. Real-life conversations are not movie conversations. They’re not smooth. They’re not perfectly timed. A character just saying “Fuck me” because they have no idea what else to say is perfectly plausible (and also a great opportunity for comedy). Here’s an exercise if you’re having trouble: Make two columns on a page, and on one side write out what this character is trying to say (i.e, “I love you.” “I’ve been trying to tell you for years.” “But I’m afraid you don’t want me to.”) and on the other write out what they actually say (i.e., “I really hope you’ll stay.” “You know you’re always welcome to stay.” “I don’t want you to feel like you have to stay. Just that you can. If you want to.”) Sometimes the juxtaposition between what we’re trying to say and what actually comes out is so important. So don’t worry about perfect articulation or doing justice to the “emotional burden.” Worry about the intent and the impact and how those two things align–or don’t.
  9. Read it out loud. This is one of the most important things teachers in playwriting workshops will tell you to do. Read it out loud. If it feels awkward or unnatural, it probably is. Thus also to dialogue in prose fiction. Even better option? Get a couple of friends to read it for you. This will work wonders for helping you figure out what feels awkward.
  10. HAVE FUN WITH IT. When I say dialogue is far and away my favorite thing to write, I’m not kidding at all. You can learn so much about a character or how two characters interact by how they talk to each other. Do they tease, do they nag, do they finish each other’s sentences? Do they use slang, do they slur, do they talk about celebrities they’ve never met as if they’ve known them for years and they’re the best of friends? Let their personalities shine through, because when characters speak is the only time they’re not getting filtered through a narrator, even if that narrator is themselves. Dialogue provides some of the most poignant moments of characterization you’ll ever get. So play with it. Try the same line fifty different ways until it feels right. Let your characters speak for themselves.

Good luck! Go forth and write great dialogue and have a blast doing it.

anonymous asked:

Thank you for your answer. Being a non English native speaker who writes in English I was having a hard time with my writing and found myself frustrated by all the "rules" given by King. Never say anything else than "say/said" in a dialogue. In the end it's even more confusing and restrictive. It gives me the impression that writing is stripped from its musicality.

OKAY the ‘say/said’ rule is BULLSHIT and I’m SO SICK of hearing it. Here’s the thing: no, you don’t want to overload your dialogue with ridiculous, over-the-top tags like, hissed, snarled, trilled, whatever. But speaking as an actor and someone who does a lot of voice work, there is a huge difference between someone just saying something and someone shouting or whispering or muttering something. Fuck this rule. Seriously.

War of Love (Lafayette x Reader) Part 6

Words: 3087

Warnings: Cringeworthy French (I’m sorry French speakers)

Tags: @pearltheartist @fandomsinabookshelf @unprofessional-inhumanbeing

A/N: Extra long chapter to celebrate Lin’s birthday! 

Previous Chapter // Next Chapter

Laurens laughed awkwardly, shaking his head. “No way, are you playing a trick on us? I mean, I walked around naked plenty of times. You…” His eyes widened, then he stared at you. “You saw me naked…you saw me naked!” He panicked, his face turning red as he moved away from you. Mulligan rubbed his head, cursing at himself.

“No wonder you never wanted to talk about women. Even when we walked by brothels, you didn’t even glance. And… the waterhole…” he put his face in his hands. “I made so many bad jokes…”

Hamilton nodded slowly. “This makes complete sense. The necklace, the laugh, the face…” He looked at you. “I can’t believe I didn’t guess it before! I knew you acted just like a woman!”

Keep reading

Rules to KS

Disclaimer: Don’t kill the messenger (that’s all I am in this post) , these are just what I took from the complaints,disagreements, and other comments here and there that i’ve seen in the tags and in post comments..to some extent I have exaggerated them..to some extent. This post is not any of my beliefs and was used with sarcastic language .if you don’t speak it and wanna argue then don’t come over here friend :) #readingisfundamental.. If you planned on being curious in the tags or wanted to join the fandom then I hope this post finds you first before the real discourse lol

Rule 1). Don’t like KS. Fuck is wrong with you? Fuck the author (make sure to note that Koogi needs to be called out for this mess of a story) and fuck you. period.point blank. end of discussion. For if ye do, thy must commit thyself to the finest casket made of sheep wool to lie dead in, for eternity (In simple english: Go die, perish, poof bam be gone)

Rule 2). Don’t discuss the differences between reality and fiction. That’s such a shit excuse like don’t you fucking dare! Because we all know that after reading this shit manhwa you’ll become like sangwoo (picks up phone to dial police cause they need to arrest y’all asses ASAP)

Rule 10.5). Whatever do you mean about there being an anti ks and discourse tag? It is a must and one’s duty to continue to repeat and discuss their dislike for KS and the fandom in the actual killing stalking tag. You know. gotta make motherfuckas aware of how they are damaging society and ruining lives. #doingGodswork

Rule 20). You must acknowledge that the KS tumblr fandom is fucking sick, a sick fucking joke (completely ignores the instagram fandom and the lack of chill they have lol)

Rule 30.5). EVERYONE and I do mean EVERYONE that is dumb enough to be in this fandom (and still ignored rule #1) are just a bunch of straight cis female women girls.

Rule 41). Being as it may that you have ignored rule number 1, then at least acknowledge that Yoonbum is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please don’t come over here talking about his so called “past choices”…stalker my ass, he is soo pure xoxoxo and that beast Sangwoo ughh. Did you guys see in Chapter 1 when Sangwoo grabbed Bum off the streets of Seoul into his nasty ass home like the nasty motherfucker he is?!…he’s been stalking bum…wow free the fuck outta him

Rule 2001). Speaking of this Sangdoodoo, being that some of y’all have ignored rule # 41, let me just let you know how fucking gross it is to actually like this man, some of y’all with your excuses like “ he’s just such a well written character that’s why i like him” you’re a liar. Then you got the other ones who try to make it seem like they just like him for his physical aspects..umm you’re a fucking liar too. Sangwoo is only “loved” because of how violent he is towards Bum, you guys fucking get off to him abusing Bum plz stop lying

Rule 2000). Please note that Sangwoo is a boring villian trope. There are better villains than him, like dora the explorer edward cullen, elmo, winnie the poo, that 50 shades of character MC..yeah

Rule 20.02). Yoonbum was never thirsty for any kind of dick. Sangwoo been ready to put out, you remember in chapter 1 when Sangwoo said that he wondered what Yoonbum’s sex was like as he stared at him in the classroom? yeah…exactly so stfu

Rule 1992). Bum’s Uncle > Sangwoo because at least his uncle didn’t sexually assault him (Messenger note : I have actually seen someone comment that bum’s uncle is greater than sangwoo..I am not exaggerating)

Rule 1980s). Don’t imply that Sangwoo is to be any kind of daddy, dad as fuck, pappy, papa, tu papa, or la casa. It gives off the vibe that you too want your legs broken and that you think him as your biological father, it will not be seen as a joke so just stop

Rule 1999). Stop saying that you wanna see Sangwoo lose his shit. What you should be saying is how bad you wanna throw him in the trash can set him a flame, bring him back to life, chop him up, put him back together, let Bum kick him with his light up sneakers and then toss him into Korea’s seas :)

Rule 2003). Respect and love Officer Seungbae. (Messenger note: This is the easiest rule to follow if ignored rule #1 of course)

Rule 3005). IF YOU HAVE IGNORED EVERY ONE OF THESE RULES (maybe except rule # 2003..if you don’t like him then “oh shit yo”) THEN THERE IS REASON AS TO WHY YOU HAVE BEEN SEEN AS THE LOWEST OF THE LOW BECAUSE THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT YOU SHIP THE FORSAKEN NAME THAT ONE MUST NOT SPEAK OF. You have lost your ultimate mind. Sangwoo> said ship. you really fucked up now. Anti KS will curse your name and family and Anti “cursed ship’s name” will abandon you. I hope you have your casket prepared.

Thank you.

So I learned that after the 1848 revolutions a lot of revolutionary groups had to leave their countries and they started undercover gymnastic clubs in other countries, like in the Netherlands there was an increase in artistic gymnastic clubs that actually trained to get strong to overthrow the status quo
They never actually did, they continued to be gymnastic groups but they kind of forgot their socialist background

but imagine les amis starting an undercover gymnastic club in which they just train in tights for their revolution, all beautiful muscles in tight clothes and hopping over vaults and stuff

Enjolras balancing on an uneven bar with a concentrated face and whispering ‘for patria’ to himself

Grantaire falling off something staring at his ass

where was I going with this?